After vetoing legislative attempts to expand Maine's Medicaid under Obamacare time and time again, Republican Governor Paul LePage is now trying to override the will of the citizens, who voted in favor of the expansion by way of the ballot.
The governor’s response has been to throw up obstacles and conditions, saying he won’t implement the expansion unless the Legislature first funds Maine’s share without raising taxes, using rainy-day funds, or diverting money from services for the elderly or disabled.
But LePage's demands do not supersede the will of the people, according to Maine's constitution:
That stubborn stance puts him at odds not just with Maine voters but also with the state’s constitution, which doesn’t give the governor discretion over whether to follow through on ballot laws. Indeed, it specifically declares that “the veto power of the Governor shall not extend to any measure approved by vote of the people.”
LePage's director of communications, Peter Steele, insisted the governor is not attempting an illegal veto of the vote.
“The Governor is simply asking the Legislature to be fiscally responsible in implementing Medicaid expansion,” he wrote. Asked twice via e-mail if LePage would propose his own funding plan, Steele did not reply.